Council bosses give their verdict on a new bar – next door to a Longton funeral home

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A new bar has been given the go-ahead, right next door to a funeral home’s chapel of rest.

A long-running application to convert two empty shops in Longton into a "refined" drinking establishment has finally been approved by South Ribble Council, even though it adjoins an undertaker’s business.

Plans to refurbish the shops, which have been vacant for more than two years, were originally submitted in August 2021 by the parent company of Penwortham's popular Lime Bar.

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At the time the firm said the new venture would not be a "Lime Bar Mark 2." Plans were for two separate venues - one just for drinking and the other with an emphasis on dining.

The two empty shops which will be converted into a 'high class' bar.The two empty shops which will be converted into a 'high class' bar.
The two empty shops which will be converted into a 'high class' bar.
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But a letter from the council's environmental health department now says the food element has been withdrawn and the business will operate just as a drinking establishment.

The decision by planning chiefs to approve the application has come despite objections from a number of local residents, citing concerns over traffic, parking, noise and the addition of another hospitality venue in a village which already has seven pubs and bars.

The issue evenly split the community when locals were asked for their views. But one objector said in a letter to the council: "There are already a good selection of cafes/restaurants/public houses in Longton.

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The Lime Bar in Penwortham.The Lime Bar in Penwortham.
The Lime Bar in Penwortham.

"It is clear the saturation point has been reached where there are too many, especially in the vicinity of the proposed planning application. It would have an adverse impact on the vitality of Longton businesses. The possibility of another two hospitality establishments will diminish the quality of life for local residents and create negative experiences for them."

And talking about the location of the new bar, the objector added: "The site of the proposed planning application is adjacent to a funeral director's and chapel of rest within it. In my opinion this is a wholly inappropriate location for catering and drinking establishments which will be loud, noisy and rowdy throughout the day.

"In this regard the application demonstrates a lack of respect and understanding for family members of deceased individuals who may be visiting the funeral director's."

But a supporter of the scheme said: "Having been a regular patron of the Lime Bar since its opening I wholeheartedly support this application to open a similar venue in the heart of my village.

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"We definitely need a more upmarket venue where we can enjoy a more refined social experience. In my view a venue such as this will almost certainly be a welcome alternative for many people to the existing drinking establishments we currently have available."

A letter from the council’s environmental health department attached to the planning file at South Ribble Council says the original openings hours submitted by the company were for 10am-11pm on Monday to Friday, 10am-11:59pm on Saturdays and 10:15am-11pm on a Sunday.

But because the applicant had “removed the food element from the proposal” the premises would “solely be a drinking establishment.” That had resulted in the proposed opening hours being amended to an 11am start on all seven days.

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